An appeal against the refusal of planning permission for two 70 metre turbines at Lamerton has been dismissed. Farmers Robert and Carol Bradford had appealed against the refusal by West Devon Borough Council to grant permission for the two turbines on land at Beech Farm. The inquiry was held in Tavistock in October. Mrs Bradford claimed at the appeal that the project, which would have been run by a local co-operative, would supply electricity to more than 1,200 homes and would generate £5-million over its expected 25-year life span. Richard Tamplin, the planning inspector who heard the appeal, “˜applauded’ the “˜dedication and persistence’ of Mr and Mrs Bradford and acknowledged that the urgency of meeting Devon’s renewable energy targets for 2010 weighed very heavily in favour of the proposal. However, he judged the benefits were even more heavily outweighed by the unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the distinctive local landscape around the appeal site. The adverse impact on the viewpoints of Brent Tor, which he said was “˜such an unusual and special place’, and Pork Hill, “˜would damage the special qualities of the National Park’. The size and motion of the turbines would destroy the fragile quality of this “˜quiet, still landscape’ and would be “˜wholly inappropriate’ to the setting of Brent Tor and the scheduled barrow cemetery on the crest of the Beacon just below. The “˜alien feature’ would also cause “˜significant harm to the longer views’ from the National Park and the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. One of the statutory purposes of Dartmoor as a National Park would be compromised. He also considered there would be a significant adverse effect on the residential amenity of people living up to two kilometres from the site. Jonathan Cardale, chief executive of the Dartmoor Preservation Association, which supported the council and Windfarm Lamerton Action Group at the inquiry, said: “˜This is the right decision, which reinforces the high value we in Devon place on our historic buildings and the very special landscapes which surround them and our national parks. “˜They are our heritage and a priceless asset which is not renewable. We all acknowledge the need for renewable energy, but it has to be in the right place. “˜ In this case the planning system and common sense said this was not an appropriate site and we applaud the inspector for having endorsed this.’ West Devon Borough Council planning officer Jane Hart said the council was pleased the inspector had upheld their reasoning for turning down the application and shared their view over the quality of the landscape and character of Dartmoor affected. Mr and Mrs Bradford were unavailable for comment as the Times went to press.
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